Date Joined: 07/13/04
Pros: bright consistent colors across display
LED backlight allows for very neutral greys and 'white whites'
No dead/stuck pixels
Very even backlighting
1 VGA and 2 HDMI inputs
Works just fine at non-native resolutions as found in BIOS, or setting at 720p for gaming on budget GPUs
Cons: Pixels are ridiculously large and bulky (see 'other thoughts')
Cheap parts make for lots of noise in the image. The VGA is so bad that I had to hunt down a HDMI cable, and even the HDMI has a fair amount of noise (but passable).
Text and static images look rough and boxy with no amount of ClearType or AA that can really smooth the picture out. Certain color patterns, or putting text over some grey backgrounds produce illegible results and strange colors.
Color range and contrast is very limited (though greyscale is surprisingly good... not sure how that happens)
Color accuracy does not exist and is all over the map, decent OSD controls help reign it in, but it is never going to be 'good'
Chroma is just bad.
Overall Review: I bought this as a stop-gap replacement for my wife's 27" monitor that died recently. The old display was a 27" 1920x1200 16:10 display. The main thing it suffered from was a bad backlight setup which caused extremely limited contrast, poor black levels, backlight bleeding that got much worse over time, and the white and greys were always a little on the warm/yellow side.
This new display does not suffer from any of those issues. It has a far superior backlight which gives good black level (for a monitor), no bleed, nice even lighting, and very neutral grey scale with white whites.
Sadly, the panel and processing end of this display are trash. While the old display had issues with things like dark movies, every other use-case was passable and usable.
The big issue is with text. A computer is often used for games and videos which this monitor does an OK job at, but even the most avid gamer spends a ton of time looking at text, and that is where this display falls apart.
The pixels are large and poorly defined. Part of this is the nature of such a large display, but our older display had only a slightly higher ppi (83.86 vs 81.59) but the pixels were well defined and things like text and static images were clear and not too blocky. Text over a white background is rough but passable, but when you put text over a grey background, or a color picture, it can quickly become illegible. It is almost like the pixels around the text bleed into it, producing deformations in the shape, or even producing rainbow-like boarders between black text/lines and color images.
The other big issue is noise on the processing end. As stated above, the VGA has a fair amount of noise. Still usable, but not something you want to look at all day. Moving to HDMI cleaned up most of it (no more interference patterns crawling up the screen), but there is still that speckled analog looking noise in the screen that I am not accustomed to on a digital input.
Lastly, static images look horrible. Lots of stair-stepping between colors. I mean, it is bound to happen on any low ppi display; but again our old display was not that different but cleartype and AA were enough to make it a non-issue, where there is no compensating for it here.
At the end of the day I could not recommend this to anyone. This is a junk TV mascaraing as a computer monitor with all of the normal issues that can be expected with such a setup. Thankfully it has an OSD with a lot of controls to vastly improve the stock settings... but even after calibration and running ClearType it is just bad for desktop computer use. I would highly suggest buying a smaller but better quality 1080p display, or else spending a little more money for even a cheap 1440p display at this size which is simply going to have less of these issues.
When we do replace this I will use it on my test bench to troubleshoot PCs and watch TV, but we will not use this as a main display any longer than needed.
Pros: 1) Big... but I still wish they were bigger (See other thoughts #4)
2) Fast... I have 2 of these in RAID1 for storage and backups, and 2 SSDs in RAID0 for system drive. Transferring files between them I am getting a consistent sequential read/write speed up near 250+MB/s. When I had a bare drive I was getting 220MB/s, so if you RAID1 them with an actual RAID controller rather than the Intel RAID that I am using you ought to be able to hit reads up near 400MB/s and writes at ~200MB/s. Considering the RAID1 it replaced only ever got 80MB/s on a good day before they started having issues I am blown away!
3) Quiet... And I am a stickler for sound. I have nice 800RPM 140mm case fans and I cannot hear the HDDs above them with the exception of some light read/write head noise which is no big deal. I have bought a ton of drives over the years, but over the last 5 years they have been drives for other people, and as I did not live with them I did not appreciate just how nice and quiet they have gotten the last few years.
4) Cool... Not that it matters that much, but these drives run just barely warm to the touch. Being in RAID I cannot get an actual temp, but these are by far some of the coolest mechanical drives I have ever owned.
Cons: 1) Not a big deal, but you only get 2.7TB of space out of these. Completely understandable when you are converting between Mib to MB, but that is 300GB I wish I had.
2) 1 came DOA. These drives (like most large drives) suffer from a fairly high failure rate. I always borrow PC Check from work to give new drives a good workout to ensure they are working properly. One passed with flying colors, while the other had the click of death. It was half expected which is why I ordered them when I did (well ahead of a major project), but the RMA process from the place I purchased these drives (not Newegg) took nearly 2.5 months! I guess that's what I get for trying to save a buck...
3) Warranty... When I purchased them there was only a 2 year warranty. I understand that there is now a 3 year warranty, but that is still disconcertingly low. I miss the days a few years ago when 5-7 year warranties were the norm. For what I do it is not worth paying the extra $$ for the longer warranty, but at the same time I don't want to go too long out of warranty, so I will have to replace these drives near the 3-4 year mark which is sooner than I would like, but it hopefully will not be a big deal.
Overall Review: Food For Thought:
1) You need to format large drives like this in GPT (google it, easy process). GPT does not support OS installs, and requires a UEFI style BIOS in order to work, so if you are on an older system, or are looking for an over-sized system drive, then do yourself a favor stick with 2TB drives, anything bigger is for storage only.
2) Large drives have a major issue; what on earth do you back them up with? If you have enough files to require this much space, then most likely it is fairly important stuff that would hurt pretty badly to loose. The only real way to do it is to have 2+ large drives, either one as an external backup, or multiple internal drives as a RAID1 or 5 array. Thankfully all major Intel boards, and just about every AMD board has decent software RAID now, so it is not hard to find like it was a few years ago, but enabling RAID can cause issues with your system drive, so plan accordingly!
3) Move to new drives BEFORE you need to. I moved up to these drives from a RAID1 of 1st gen 1TB drives. One of them failed right after the 5 year mark, so I have been running off of one drive for a loooong time now (scary!). I would have upgraded sooner, but.. well... house, cars, babies, life, and other more urgent things kept taking my money every time I scrapped together enough money to pull the trigger on new drives. By the time I finally got around to replacing the drives the remaining functional one was having issues of it's own. So I ended up with a trudgingly slow file transfer of 5-10MB/s. 800GB of data at an average of 7MB/s literally does take DAYS! Plus it was having stability issues when doing long file transfers, so I had to sit and watch it so that I could pick up where it left off before the system would reset. Very annoying process that ate most of my free time for the better part of a week! Thankfully, everything seems to have transferred just fine, and my old (very) dead drives are all ready to be destroyed. Point is, if you can help it, get your information off of your drives at the first sign of trouble and you will save a few headaches!
4) After organizing and removing redundant files (or at least most of them) I got down to 600GB of data (mostly old projects). Then I backed up my system and enabled file history in win8, and that ate another 600GB. Then I did my wife's backup and enabled her file history settings which ate yet another 400GB. So here I bought what I thought was a HUGE amount of space, only to find that it is already more than 1/2 full, and I have not even started ripping my movie collection to it yet! When all is said and done I will probably buy a pair of 2TB drives strictly for system backups (2TB drives are more reliable anyways), which will free up a huge portion of the big drives for documents. Just keep in mind that file backups are nice to have... but they come at a HUGE space expense. Totally worth it, but I had no idea it would eat that much space.
Hope that helps
Pros: Still kicking strong!
Still getting consistent performance
Firmware update got a little more consistent speed out of the drives
Work fine in RAID if you have the right chipset (see 'other thoughts')
Cons: I am ruined on HDDs. I cannot stand them anymore. Using my PC at work with a HDD is simply painful. The HDDs in my home system seem really loud now that I have nearly silent fans, and I cannot wait for mainstream 2TB SSDs to become available (and affordable), though it may be a while.
No Intel RAID 1 or 5 support for TRIM, and no RAID0 support on z68 or older systems. Not a problem with this drive, but still a major concern, and my next SSDs I will look for drives that are not so dependent on TRIM to work properly.
The premium you use to have to pay for faster drives is not nearly as high, making the Agility series much slower but only slightly cheaper than it's bigger faster brothers. That is the only reason for the 1 egg drop.
Overall Review: Some notes on RAID:
So over the summer I ended up getting a 2nd Agility 3, and so I put it in RAID0 just to see how quick it would run. And boy-oh-boy is it FAST!
It is fast enough where I can push my big 4.2GHz i7 to 100% load when doing work with ease, which is exactly where the bottleneck should be!
That being said, it has not all been sunshine and lollipops with RAID and SSDs. People like me with a slightly older high end system running on a z68 chipset and using the onboard RAID controller need to be aware that TRIM commands are not passed through to the SSDs. TRIM is important to maintaining the drive, and if TRIM is not active then speed will degrade over time by a rather large margin, and wear leveling will not be done properly which will shorten the life of your drive! It is perfectly fine to run an SSD via RAID as a single drive, but when you add it to an array then you will experience problems within a month or two.
The solution? Move up to a z77 based motherboard. z77 based RAID controllers will allow TRIM commands to pass through on RAID0 (not RAID1 or 5), which fixes the slowdown that sandforce drives are hit with when trim is not utilized properly.
So in short, to add 1 feature, I had to pay $140 extra for a new motherboard. Thankfully I was able to sell my old board to subsidize the cost, and the new mobo does have some neat extra features that I also wanted. But that is a high price to pay for the sake of a single feature, so if you are on a last gen platform it would probably be best to get a single larger drive rather than dealing with RIAD to get your storage needs.
Lastly, just for fun, I found some old failed Raptor HDDs, and put my SSDs inside of their enclosures. It makes them look really awesome, and now they just run 2*c over the ambient temp of the room. By far the best 2.5->3.5 converter I have ever seen!
Pros: ++Trim support over RAID0 for SSDs
+2 extra SATA connectors, giving 8 total SATA devices
+optical audio (once you go digital, there is no going back!)
+more USB3 hookups than previous gen boards
+legacy PS2 connector
+3 spaces between PCIe16 slots to accomodate xFire or SLi with aftermarget GPU coolers or oversized cards
+PCIe1x slot above the GPU
+Gold on Black looks much better in person than in these pictures. My case has no window, but it does feel good to look at that thing when it comes out of the box!
+eSATA on back panel
+Advanced wake features for Win8 'always on' and 'instant on' tech.
+Works fine with my old i7 2600 CPU (only thing I do not get is PCIe3 speeds as that is controlled by the newer Ivy Bridge CPUs)
+Still able to OC my 2600 to 4.2GHz, though the process was more difficult than with the older z68 boards
+Picked up my RAID0 and RAID1 arrays with no problems. Simply enabled the controller and it knew what my old drive configuration was, and all my data was still there.
Cons: -Drivers on disc provided were simply for the wrong motherboard. Thankfully it was easy enough to get the right ones online. I think this was an issue with the store I bought it at, as the box was open and had been looked at by other customers.
-Lucid Logic software killed win8, requiring a full re install. No fault of ASRock, and not the first annoyance I have had with Lucid Logic. It is a neat feature, but they need to make their software better!
Overall Review: I got this board specifically to get the TRIM support for SSDs in RAID0. Running many SSDs (especially OCZ drives) without TRIM support will cause your write speeds to slow down over time (and can make read speeds inconsistent). It will also not allow the SSD's internal load leveling technology to work properly, which will cause a premature death of many drives. Sadly, chipsets made before the 7x series (like the z68) did not allow for these TRIM commands to pass through, which causes the drives to slow down over time, so I made the move to this newer board to combat that issue.
What a difference a year makes! I moved 'up' from an extreme3 gen3 I purchased a year ago, and loved that board, but this new one is so much better. Better build quality, more intelligent layout, more SATA, more USB3, tons of extra UEFI features that I have only begun to play with. What was meant to be a side-step upgrade for a specific feature has turned into a definite step-up upgrade.
I normally only give 4/5 star reviews, but this board has exceeded my expectations. If it was not for the one feature I would still be happy with the old board, but this one does bring quite a few extras to the table.
+large enough to not lose in the couch easily
+thumb ball more secure in it's socket than previous models, while remaining fairly free-moving
+Unifying receiver works!
+Software works fine in Win8RTM
Cons: -normal sensitivity issues with thumb balls
-wish it had a gesture pad for win8
-Oddly Newegg had a price $10 more than any of the local sores here, never had that problem before, and it was weird going to a store to buy electronics again... been a long time.
Overall Review: These mice are not for everyone. Gamers will hate this mouse, as will photo and video editors due to a lack of exact control. You can have high amounts of control if you want, or you can have it easy to use and easily navigate the screen, but you cannot have both like you can with a normal mouse. Personally I still have a normal mouse for such times that I need it, but my setup is on a sofa, and so the thumb ball is much easier to use as you do not need to worry about the surface it is on, and it is bulky enough to not lose without it being huge. At any rate, for people like me who are set up in an area that is not conducive to the use of a traditional mouse, and who hate trackpads, this is an excellent device. I remember the first 2 I owned claiming that it helps fight corporal tunnel syndrome, but noticed that such advertisements are gone from this box.
I used a super old wired version of this back in the '90s on my parent's computer which was perhaps my favorite version. Bought one for my computer ~2003 (wireless similar to this one), but the ball felt stiff while constantly falling out, and it ended up dying prematurely with moderate use. All 3 of these mice have had the same slight sensitivity issue where the ball needs to move a little bit before it picks up any motion, but I must say it seems a lot less noticeable on this one than previous models.
Big plus is the unifying receiver. I have purchased several Logitech devices over the years, but have typically only used 1 device, or purchased a keyboard/mouse in the same device, so I have never really gotten to use the 'unifying aspect' before. This time around I simply took the mouse out of the box, pulled the battery tag, and my old receiver picked it up with no problem. An added plus was that the logitech software picked up both the old wired mouse, and the new one, and let me select different motion and button profiles between the two mice! So much better thought out than previous versions of the software that were so bad that I stopped using the device specific drivers a long time ago. win8 automagically installed it this time for me, and I never got around to removing it, and now I may leave it there. Plus I have a spare receiver now, which I could put on the laptop or something I suppose if I ever wanted to use the mouse with that.
Pros: compact design
relatively durable, solid construction
blue on black never goes out of style
CPU airflow shroud prevents warm air re-circulation (important in a small build)
Ample space for parts without a lot of wasted space
Quiet onboard fan (not silent, but very good... and I am picky)
Easy to work on, very few screws. Much better than previous slim cases I have worked with (though I prefer larger boxes myself)
Cons: no USB3, thankfully not an issue for the client I was building for
no 80+ power supply (hard to find for a 300W supply I suppose)
Overall Review: Final build:
i5 Ivy Bridge with HD2500 graphics
4GB of DDR3 1600 (room for 2 more sticks if needed)
SSD system drive and old laptop data drive in a tray that fit them in a single HDD slot
BluRay player/DVD burner
All in all, I was able to build a (very) capable machine in a nice small space. When doing normal things this box is nearly silent, when pushing it (intel burn test) all I could hear was the CPU fan kick in a little once it got warm.
I will definitely use this again if I do another home/office build
Pros: Native 1600 support (no settings or XMP to mess with)
USB3 ports and header
mATX form factor
THX audio software
CPU +2 case fan headers
fast POST time, and easy to use UEFI
Blue over black always looks good :D sadly the build did not have a window.
Cons: no Optical audio output... that was almost a deal-breaker
had no problems with setup. Just hooked it up, installed the Ethernet driver, and then installed the rest of the drivers from MSI's website.
Kinda wish I could do a turbo OC like I did with my system, but that is a chipset limitation, no fault of MSI
Overall Review: boot time from power to being in windows was less than 8 seconds (paired with a mushkin SSD and i5 CPU). My much higher end system takes 3-5 sec just to pass POST, so I am very happy with this little guy.
When shipping the finished computer to my client it seems that the shipper dropped it very badly (3 screws were ripped out of their slots, CPU heatsink was freely moving in the case, etc). I was sure that the heatsink would have dislodged something, or that the impact would have damaged the mobo, but instead the client took it to a local repair shop; 15 minutes and a diagnostic fee later the system booted right up like nothing happened! I was super impressed that all the parts could take such a beating and keep on working!
I would never suggest MSI for a high end build, but if you are doing something in the range of a home/office to entry level game rig, or do not need all the bells and whistles of a high end system, this is a great board to use.
Pros: Extremely simple setup and operation for initial setup (even my MIL could do it)
option to flash with DD-WRT or Tomato for advanced users
Cons: lacks a few features... but it is a base model, so who cares?
Overall Review: I use to be a huge fan of the old Linksys wrt54g/gs/gl series (in fact I use one currently), so when I was looking for a new wireless router for my mother-in-law I was highly disapointed in their current offerings.
Thankfully, Asus has taken their place, and I am highly impressed with this unit (especially for being a base model).
When I am ready to move up to wireless N or AC I will definately consider one of their mid to upper level units, but for the average user who just needs internet access, and shares the occasional file between devices, this should be all that you ever need.
Pros: Extremely quiet
lots of features for the price
no lights (obviously this is a personal preference as some like having lights, but there is a lit version as well)
Cons: there are other fans on the market with much better airflow
Overall Review: I love these fans. It started when I 'upgraded' from an older Zalman CNP cooler to a Hyper212evo (wife's PC needed a better than stock cooler and the zalman fit in her case). Sadly the evo was louder, so I replaced the stock fan with 2 of these and it made is quite silent. After that I started replacing the rest of the fans, and it made a very quiet computer nearly silent (just HDD noise and the cooler on the GTX570, of which I have plans to remedy both).
These are not high flow fans. Generally speaking they rank on the lower end of the stack for that, but more than sufficient if you have a decent case with a lot of room for fans. my case has 3 of these (front, bottom, back), and then the 2 on the CPU cooler, and everything stays quite frosty
Pros: Cheap toner, good wireless, USB drive for driver, great laser quality, generally easy setup and use.
No install disc needed, simply plug the printer into your USB port and it will show up as a flash drive with the drivers on it. Power users will want to get the latest drivers from HP's website, but this is a very handy feature for the average consumer.
I have devices connected via USB, Ethernet, and Wireless all at the same time, and everything works flawlessly.
Cons: If you turn the printer off rather than let it go into sleep mode then it can get confused of you send it a job before turning it on again. Keeping it in sleep mode will allow it to auto-wake when you send it a job.
If you do the driver only install then there are a lot of options that do not work properly. You cannot resume a print after running out of paper, and you cannot cancel an error if anything goes wrong which can get annoying. But if you install the full package this is not an issue.
Overall Review: After spending ~$150 per year on ink we found this printer on sale at an unbelievable price and decided to give it a shot. Now a toner pack lasts roughly 2 years and costs half the price of the ink in our old printer. On the occasion that we need a color print we just go to our local print shop, and it still costs much less than what we use to pay in ink, and is of much better quality than our old inkjet could ever get.
Pros: 5 120mm fan mounts
bottom mount PSU
can mount PSU upside down
painted black interior
center mobo mounting stud (helps in lining up mobo screws during instal, also provides ground if bread-boarding before screwing down)
PSU fan filter, easy to clean
very breathy case, easy to get good airflow
Tall feet so you are less likely to suck dirt up through bottom of case
Plenty of space between mobo and side for tall aftermarket coolers.
Basic cable management options and tiedowns
Some tooless installation options
not a flashy gamer case, but not a boring office case either
Super cheap for the features provided
Cons: Top 2 fan mounts are blocked by my 12v CPU power connector and my blue ray player. Not entirely a design flaw, but having a 1/2" between the mobo try and the ceiling would have been a good call.
Super small and useless window. Would be better without a window at all. Same goes for the side panel grill; nothing goes there, it is not needed, the designers just thought it looked like it needed something there.
Paint scratches easily, be careful!
Wish there were more tooless drive bays
No USB3 headers, but then again this is an old case.
LED fan in front is annoying if case is on the desk.
Black + Heat = cat hair, be warned!
Frame is a bit wobbley if picking it up with a side off, otherwise solid.
All of these flaws are easily overlooked when you realize that most other cases with similar features cost at least 2x as much as this does!
Overall Review: Using the LED fan on the bottom blowing up to get the LED out of my eyes, and give the bottom of the case a nice glow. Added an aftermarket fan to the front blowing in, and to the back blowing out (currently this 3rd fan is disabled until I can find a quieter one). Mounted PSU upside down to use it as an exhaust fan (previous PSU was mounted normal and that works fine too).
Fits my full PCIe graphics card (12") with room to spare. Fits my tall Zalman CPU cooler with room to spare.
i7 2600, 16GB ram, GTX570 OC, 750W PSU, 3 HDDs, 1 optical. With only 2 case fans at the moment this case stays stone cold, even when pushing the system. very impressive cooling performance!
There are better cases out there, but they are in the $150+ range. This is the perfect starter or budget case. It is cheap, easy to work on, and has space for high end parts.
Pros: 16:10 ratio makes it so that program interfaces do not overlap your video when you move the mouse, and provides a little extra height for web browsing
It is big, really big. Took 3 months before I became accustomed enough to see the whole thing at once. Now I use it on a coffee table roughly 3.5 ft away from me, and it looks very nice at that distance.
very bright, but can dimm down nicely without loosing quality.
Fast refresh rate, never had any ghosting issues.
Runs cool. Many monitors of this size run quite warm, while this does not. That generally means the capacitors (and thus the screen) will last longer.
Large enough to design ledger sized documents at 100% size!
Cons: There is a reason it is cheap compared to other screens this size.
1200p is low res for a monitor this size. If you use it at 2ft away the pixels are noticeable. Backing away will fix this.
Backlight bleeding. When I first got this the backlight bleeding was minimal, and within 6mo it became very apparent in dark scenes. I have not noticed it get any worse in the 2.5 years I have had it though. Not a huge deal for gaming or computer use, but movies do suffer for it in dark scenes. Again, not terrible, but noticeable.
Low contrast. Something all monitors suffer compared to TVs, but this is worse than others (though typical for the price range).
Color accuracy. Simply not color accurate. Looking at a white or grey screen you can see that it is cool on one side and warm on the other. Perfectly acceptable for general use, not acceptable for professional use.
Mine for some reason will not sleep over the HDMI or DVI cables when the computer turns off. Fixed in newer versions like
Overall Review: I purchased mine over 2 years ago, so this particular version is a refresh of the product I purchased, but with the same screen and interface. In 2 years the price has never dropped and is still the same today as what I paid for it originally.
I came from 2 17" CRTs and was trying to find something large enough to replace them as they were quite old and blurry, and this did the trick. I love the size and quality for the price paid, and I am just as happy with it now 2 years later as I was when I bought it.
Only feature I have not used is the built in speakers which I am sure are better than nothing, but should be replaced with quality ones.
If your main concern is size and screen real-estate then this is a great monitor! But as noted above; If you are using this for work doing photo editing you will be frustrated and should invest in an IPS monitor.
Pros: heavy, runs cool, fan never leaves 40% (granted I dont have any new games that would really push it), sips power compared to my old 9800GT during normal use
CUDA, Adobe Premiere Mercury Playback Engine Support
blower design is very effective, and quiet compared to many other cards.
Does not blow hot air back into the case!
MSI Afterburner reports things correctly on this board.
First time buyer of Sparkle (due to a great rebate!), and will consider them again in the future.
Cons: While quieter than most, it is by far the loudest thing in my case, and I cannot wait to replace the fan with an aftermarket one.
There is some confusion on the product line. This is the one I purchased, but according to the manufacturer's website I received the factory OC model. Not that I mind that much having a faster than advertised card, but there are no clear markings to know exactly what was purchased, and I find that annoying.
Had issues with the install disc that came with it. Auto play would not work properly, and the installer would crash. I suggest not bothering with the disc and just go to nVidia's website to get the latest driver.
Other than these small issues I am very pleased with it :)
Overall Review: While sparkle is not one of those brands that you brag about to your friends, I have to say that I love this card! I knew it would be big, but I actually laughed out loud when I opened the box... it is just massive, though it fit fine in my mid sized tower (thermaltake V3 black). I am not much of a gamer (newest games I have played are Dragon Age Origins, and Mass Effect 2), but I am confident it will play any game I throw at it for the next few years... and then I can SLi :).
I purchased this specifically for rendering effects and transitions in Adobe Premiere as the 570 GPU is supported for the Mercury Playback Engine, and I must say that I am happy for that one feature alone. The fact that it takes less power than my old card in day-to-day use, as well as the ability to handle high end workloads is just a plus!
extreme3 gen3 mobo
750W power supply (so I can ad a 2nd of these later)
Win7 home 64bit
500GB system, 2x1TB storage
Pros: z68 chipset (gives SSD Cashing and Quicksink which p67 does not)
Gold on Black looks WAY better in real life than in the pictures
SLi and xFire support, I intend to SLi my 570 down the line
Digital Audio sounds every bit as wonderful as I thought it could, if only my amp supported 192khz instead of just 96khz, but still a huge improvement over the add-in cards I have used in the past with analogue output
3 multi level fan controls, plus 2 CPU fans. Note that by default these are all set to max and you need to change that in Bios or through eXtreme tuner.
Great Bios. I am not an OC person, but it looks like every imagineable tweak is in there. Being able to use the mouse is liberating. There are just so many options; you can even turn off the power LED without unplugging it from the board. Plus a fast post time.
Virtue comes with it for free (great for trans-coding or encoding video via quicksink while having a good high end card installed)
Cons: no real cons, just some things to look out for:
could have better cooler mounts, they do keep it cool, but I accidentally knocked off the top heatsink when installing the board. Thankfully it went right back on and has not caused any issues, and I am not marking it down because there was a fair amount of pressure before it came undone; just be warned it can happen.
Most of the software that comes with it is junk, but if you dont install it (or uninstall it when you confirm it is junk) then this is not a problem.
more fan headers? my case has space for 5 120mm fans and the board only has 3 controllers. Maybe I should get a fan controller before I populate the rest of the fan slots.
no USB3 headers on the board, but this is a rare feature anyways and wont be standard for a while yet. At least there are 2 ports on the back
Overall Review: I have not had a chance to RAID my 1TB drives, or to do SSD cashing with my 500GB system drive yet, but it will come in time, and I am glad the option is there to do them.
In theory this will support ivy bridge chips in the future, as well as the PCIe3 that comes with them, but I'll believe it when I see it, and I am quite happy with my 2600 and gtx570 so I doubt I will upgrade.
Also, this will be ease to work on in the future as the board has it's own power and reset, and a Post number indicator, as well as a clear CMOS button on back.
Slide lock for GPUs instead of a tab
Includes ridged SLi cable
Good layout, great price.
By far the most feature rich board I have ever bought, and I couldn't be happier for the price!
3 HDDs (1 500, and 2 1TB)
LGA775 cooler (yes, they have mounting holes for 775 coolers on the board if you already have an awesome cooler)
Pros: 16GB 4x4 kit, no need to remember ram timings when it fills all available slots!
Normal profile should fit under most aftermarket heat-sinks
I have gone from an XMS 400 1GB (2x512) kit, to a XMS2 4GB (2x2) kit, to this 16GB (4x4) kit and have never been burnt, gotta love a company that is consistently good for so long. They have survived power spikes, bad mobos, being stored/moved/touched improperly, and I think they are just about indestructible!
Cons: not 1600? but that's no big deal
Overall Review: please note for gamer 16GB of ram can hurt performance, you would be better served with 4 or 8GB, but for those doing production work 16GB is a good starting point until 8GB sticks come down in price.
After doing some research I found out that there is very little difference (~5%) between 1333 and 1600, and then I found this on sale plus a rebate and that made my decision. For those who OC you will probably want the 1600 as it will give you more options. I do not OC and find this to be quite fast.
In the 1st week I have owned this I have already run into a video project that eats up 12GB of this stuff, which kinda scares me. Sure, it is a huge project (imported some 5+ hours of raw footage), but coming off of a 4GB system I thought 16GB would be overkill, and now I am finding that 32GB will be in my future when it becomes more affordable. HD editing just eats RAM, but at least this keeps up!
I have bought Corsair for a long time and they have never let me down.
Pros: Tons of connectors of all types
Black mesh wrap on all the cables
plenty of length on cables to reach distant devices
Enough power for 2 570's (stock, not OC)
Cons: not modular, but that is no big deal for me
Overall Review: I agonized over this and a more expensive PC P&C, but ultimately went with this because it was cheaper, but still had a 96% 5 egg review! That almost never happens! Well now that I have had it running about a week I come to find out that OCZ owns PC P&C, and that just about laid all my fears to rest (cant tell you how many times I have lost parts due to bad PS)
Anywho, when I hooked this up to a tester and started it I first thought the fan was not running. It was, but the fan is very low rpm, and very quiet. It is by far the quietest fan in my system at the moment, and I cannot wait until everything else gets just as silent. It is a great PSU and would suggest it to anyone.
Pros: Low power consumption
great price where I bought it
4 cores, and 8 threads
Cons: limited OC is completely artificial, I miss the old days when you didnt have to pay extra for such a feature even if I rarely used it.
Overall Review: I am more concerned with stability than raw unbridled power, which is why I bought this rather than the k version. Great processor, and in the real world I have not seen task manager push it past 65%. If you are a gamer then this is not for you as games will not take advantage of it, and many HT enabled programs are only duel core capable so they only use the HT on the first 2 cores, so it is quite rare to see all cores in use. However, if you do any video editing or other serious production work then this, or it's unlocked brother, is for you. There really is no other choice unless you want to go nuts with a duel processor Xeon solution.
Pros: Good basic system for going on the internet, and listening to music. Older style ram is cheap and easy to find to upgrade to 1-2GB.
Cons: Mobo is known for blowing caps, but if they are still OK after all these years, then it is probably fine.
Will not do HD video unless you upgrade the graphics card
Overall Review: For those who live in the greater Cincinnati area; You can get something better than this, with keyboard, mouse, speaker, and monitor for less money, though you do need to meet certain income criteria. Check out Cincinnati Computer Cooperative
Large enough to use as a small system drive
Found a great price/warranty
easy bios updater in windows
very fast ~200MBs read on an old system
Cons: price is still a little expensive, but getting there.
All SSDs have high failure rates, so it may be worth buying an extended warranty (this was the first extended warranty I have ever bought).
Size is good for my wife (using about 35GB), but this is way too small for anyone using an Adobe suite, or installing multiple large games.
Not OCZ fault, but there are a lot of optimizations and tweaks to win7 to make to help extend the life of the drive which MS should make standard on a SSD install.
Overall Review: Wife's system drive died and I found a very good price on this drive at a local shop so I decided to give it a try. It is fast! I am running on an older C2D computer, so no TRIM support, and only SATA2 connection, but runs MUCH faster than the 4 year old 80GB HDD it replaced. 3 sec to sleep, 4 sec to wake. Programs that took nearly a minute to launch now only take 8 sec, while most programs launch faster than the windows new window animation. USB devices are recognized/installed instantly! What use to be over an hour full system AV scan now takes about 14 minutes! Cant wait to get one for myself next year when I upgrade my rig (and larger drives come down in price).
System Specs: C2D 2.7GHz, 4GB DDR2 800, 8600GTS 512MB, 60GB Solid3 system drive, 500GB documents drive, Win7 64bit
Pros: 1080P @ 60FPS on my Panasonic SD800K
Price! 1/2 the cost of what I was originally looking at
Free movie download
Cons: none for me, but it does seem that the whole SD flash card industry as a whole is incredibly inconsistent between rated vs actual read/write performance. Thankfully mine maxes out my USB bandwidth.
Note: copying 30GB of information over USB2 takes a while...
Overall Review: It takes a lot to get me to give full eggs. The card is rated for 20MB/s, and my camera needs 17MB/s for 30fps HD video, which according to other reviews this card will do fine. I tried shooting 60FPS which is rated at 24MB/s, and this card took it like a champ which was completely unexpected!
I know that others have had less than stellar reviews, but there are some tricks; Format the card in the device it will be used, this seems to pick up a little speed. Use the device to transfer data instead of a card reader. Do not fill the drive, as with all drives there is overhead, and when a drive fills up you will loose performance, so keep it clean and clear. Never trust flash memory (of this type anyways) for long term storage, it will degrade over time, but WAY better than good old miniDV tape!
Pros: light, stylish, no need for driver install under win7, a real true on/off switch! Full height keys that have a little 'clack' to them (some people hate this, but I grew up on some pretty old keyboards and always feel off when I can't her the keys). Full keyboard layout which is hard to find on wireless boards. Oh, and it is wireless!
Cons: -1 egg for power button, price, and general lack of quality compared to previous logitech products I use.
Power button on the keyboard, not easy to push on accident, but Ive done it once already so it does happen. No light for caps/scroll/num locks, but that is to be expected as pretty much no wireless keyboard has these as they drain power needlessly. Feels a little cheap compared to older versions I have owned and bought for other people, but not to the point where it is really annoying or anything. They make much nicer boards, but not with this layout, and I am unwilling to pay that much for a keyboard!
Overall Review: This is replacing my 11 year old wireless keyboard. I had dropped it a while back, cracking the frame, and shortly after developing a problem where it would press the '-' button all the time. I only paid $15 for the last one bundled with a mouse, so I was surprised that the keyboard alone was $30. Waited for a sale and got it a little cheaper, but still higher than expected. But logitech has the best equipment out there! Not sure this is quite up to 11 years like the last one, but still feels like it will last a good long time, and I love the layout/size! The old one got a solid 8+ months on a set of batteries with constant use, so I can only imagine what this will do! Anything short of 8mo and I will re-post with complaints
Pros: Quiet and quick and really big. My first 1st TB drive was the 7200.11 (still running well along side this), and I believe I paid about $200 for it. Saw this on sale a bit over a year ago for $110 and jumped on it because the first drive was filling up. It is a little faster, but other than that they are similar in temps (mid 30's c) and noise level (which is very quiet). This is now my editing drive, and the old one sits asleep most of the time as my 'warm storage' for completed projects.
Cons: it is no SSD, but imagine a 1TB SSD price! Also, seems much more reliable than 2TB drives, but always remember to backup your data! This means a separate storage device that is not on the same power grid! 1TB of projects would be very painful to loose! Buy a spare one of these for external use, and only plug it in when you need to do a backup.
Overall Review: these are currently on sale for $55 (after instant rebate), and I am debating about buying 2 more to short stroke and raid for a system drive. These are 2 platter drives, so a 20% short stroke in raid 0 should get me a 400GB system drive that has a throughput of near 200MB/s which is a big step up from my old Seagate 7200.9 80GB drive, which is running strong but is rather slow by today's standards. It would be no SSD, but still fast, with lots of space.
Seagate makes great drives. I have a 5yr old system drive, a 7 year old 500GB in wife's computer, plus these two TB drives and have been a happy camper.
I do audio editing for my church and these drives eat through my 1GB audio files like nothing when I am cleaning/compressing/exporting. I also do the occasional video edit in HD for motion backgrounds at church and am able to do so with minimal compression (Lagarith) in real time without any form of raid, and export to h.264 is very fast!
Pros: Price, space, read speed, style, feel, light
$15 isn't a bad price for what you get. It is small enough to be out of the way, but large enough to not wonder where it ran off to. Aluminum casing feels rubbery (in a good way). Blue light is a little bright, but not nearly as bad as many I have seen.
Cons: Write speed, and as others have noted there is no place to put the cap.
This is a con about people, not the device: There are many forums claiming that if you go in the device settings and tell the device to run in 'performance' mode then you will get better throughput. This is true for external HDDs, but not for flash drives. What this mode does is allow windows to write cashe the drive, and perform maintenance such as defragmenting which will keep external HDDs fast, but will show no benefit for flash drives, and may even lower the lifespan of the device! Not to mention you have to use the silly 'safely remove device' icon, where as by the default setting you can just pull it and run (so long as you are not actively writing to the drive). I just wanted to throw that out there.
Overall Review: I got this to replace a $5 4 year old 2GB store branded flash drive. Not surprisingly this blows that out of the water! For read speeds I am getting a fairly consistent 25-30MB/s which is as fast as USB2 can go, so no complaint there. However, I am annoyed at the write speed. I am only getting 2-6MB/s. Granted this is about double the speed of my old drive (ya... that is sad), but I had been expecting somewhere in the range of 10-14MB/s which this falls far short of. I may try to align the cells at some point to get a little more speed out of it, but I doubt it will improve much.
At any rate it will suit my needs very well as this is mostly for sneaker-net between church and home, and it is much larger and faster than the old drive. And while I am feeling a little poor at the moment I am not going to cry over $15 when I really wont be writing to it all that often.
Pros: Well it has been almost 2 years on this. It replaced a very nice Abit mobo that was tragically killed by a power supply. While this does not have quite the feature set of the old mobo I did not see any real performance hit when I moved over. Recently started to feel a little slow (using my friend's i7 too much lol), so I started OCing it. The OC process works well and seems fairly understandable to me. went from 2.2 to 2.66 without touching the voltages. From what I read online I should be able to later hit upwards of 3.2 before capping out. Perhaps a SSD will breathe new life into the system before taking the $2000 plunge in better hardware +software that takes advantage of it.
Good sound quality, good 1000/t ethernet, onboard video isnt much but that is what the 9800GT is for, running 4HDDs of various brands and all is well. It has been through 3 cases, and moved several times without problems.
Nothing special, but it just works which is all I ask for!
Cons: a little burned that it does not have raid like the newegg spec sheet said it did when I bought it, but if I really want it I can always do it with zfs in the future. Other than that it has been very good to me.
Overall Review: well, it is 2011, and this thing keeps on ticking. It was beginning to feel a bit laggy so I OC'd it a little. Once it starts feeling slow again I will OC it one more time before upping the whole platform. The best thing though is that it keeps up with my friend's newer computers from Dell and HP (newer C2D and Ci3), just goes to show the value in building your own rig. Mostly used for media (lots of netflix and FB), I also do a bit of audio and video editing on the side as a hobby and it edits full HD with no problem (premere pro, lagarith encoding), and this keeps up well. Once I do eventually upgrade this will make a great little home server!
Pros: quiet. When I first got this working in my new case and didn't have my graphics card in yet I didn't realize the computer was on. Rendering video on my core2duo went from mid 70*c down to a solid 35*c, which is about what the idle temp use to be. That doesn't quite max out the cpu (HDD bottleneck), but it goes to show the performance you can expect. I am wondering if I could over clock a little at this same sound level.
Should migrate whenever I upgrade to a core i5/7
Cons: very large, wont fit in your average dell/HP case. And don't even think about a HTPC or anything smaller than a good mid tower.
paste that comes with it is junk, spend the extra few dollars for something better.
Now need to find a good vga cooler and power supply to really quiet things down.
oddly makes HDDs seem loud...
Overall Review: funny story,
so I bought this and a new case (old case was nearing 11 years old) on a whim at my local PC store (btw, newegg was 5 bucks cheaper). Installed everything in the new case, installed new cooler, and the computer wouldn't post! Thought I had shorted something out in the migration process. After a week I had a chance to see what I did wrong and I somehow got thermal paste on the under side of the CPU! I don't recall unclipping the LGA slot, so I really don't know how it got in there, but I was able to rub it off, and now the computer runs great again and without the harsh sound of the stock unit. Now my GPU fan will be the next to go, but while loud it is not nearly as hard on the ears.
Also, in the past I have always used a spreader or credit card to disperse my thermal paste, but saw the newegg guys use a plastic bag and a finger with a much better spread on the new ares giveaway video. I used a vynal glove and I was much happier with the result!